Linking Back – Authenticity and Intuition

This week I have been more useful than usual, helping out with wedding catering, hospital visits and shopping expeditions on behalf of others who need a hand. It has reminded me that although I have the work/life balance issue sorted for now, I need to remember to balance my digital life with life in the physical universe.

Authenticity has been a theme for me recently, and I enjoyed Sandra Pawula’s post Walking the Labyrinth to Your True Self. Sandra explores how being authentic and living with integrity can lead to personal contentment, which in turn open you up to greater kindness and compassion. I am finding that allowing myself to follow my own path this past year has helped me be more responsive to other people’s needs, as less energy is consumed in worrying about myself.

Zen Habits had an interesting guest post by Lissa Rankin called 6 Steps to Healing Yourself. Lissa is a doctor who believes that the body knows how to heal itself, and that we can benefit by being more proactive about encouraging that natural capacity. I found it interesting when she says that the bodys natural  self-repair mechanisms work best when we are relaxed, and are impeded by excessive stress. She affirms that we intuitively know what we need to be well, although we don’t always pay attention. Thats certainly been my experience so its encouraging to hear it explained by a medical practitioner.

Louise Krupski wrote a thought provoking post on her blog Simple, Meaningful and Free about the complexities of deciding whether to downsize. Her post Is This My Beautiful House  describes the experience of being “stuck in this fairlytale” of a large home with an expensive mortgage. I could relate to the struggle between a gut instinct which is saying downsize and get out of debt now, and the desire not make a financially unwise decision. For myself, I have decided to embark on an experiment of following my intuition, which means that I have sold my home and quit my job. I don’t regret it, but I do wake up a night wondering if I should be putting more in my superannuation.

Intuition as a source of wisdom about how to act in a way that is congruent with our needs and goals is a thread which runs through these posts. One thing I notice about myself is that often I will know what my intuition is telling me, but I delay acting on the pretext of “being sensible” or “thinking about it”. Thats useful and necessary up to a point, but I am capable of resisting my intuition for years, or even decades, because I am daunted by what it is telling me.

P1050348With this in mind, I have decided to try an “early intuition response experiment”. My gut feeling is telling me that selling greeting cards is not the right direction for me to take. I have been considering various methods of scaling down such as allowing the listings in the Etsy store to time out over the next few months and focussing on selling out existing stock to shops.

However my gut feeling is if I do that the Etsy store  and face-to-face sales will continue to tug at my attention and suck up my time for the sake of a few more meagre sales.  In the meantime, I won’t be concentrating on the things that are important to me, including developing my writing and finding a viable and sustainable income source. Rather than invest more time and effort in a slow exit from a losing proposition, I have decided to close the Etsy store, announce the winding down of greeting card sales, and relegate the project to personal hobby status immediately. I have an inkling that this will free up my mental space to get on with the next step.

Intuition really can be a pain in the neck. Its scary to just trust that you know what you are doing and take a leap of faith, but I think its worth seriously exploring what your intuition is telling you, and what is holding you back. Working with your intuition is like building a relationship, it requires a series of interactions over time to build trust and understanding. Time spent ignoring what your heart is telling you not only delays the specific decisions at issue, it keeps you from building that trusting relationship with yourself, and gathering momentum towards an authentic life.

  1. This is a very interesting post and thank you so much Linda for sharing my blog post. My overriding problem is that I am not on my own with my gut instinct, which is saying go ahead and downsize. I have to consider the thoughts and feelings of my husband and my two children’s need,s as selling up the family home is a massive step for us all. How we will move forward together I don’t know but I do also know that pushing my own agenda and “concretising” my ideas over this is not the way to go, I have to see where our journey will take us. This doesn’t mean I am going to sit back, do nothing and give up but instead I want to use the ideas and lessons I am learning by considering this path to help me make a better life for myself and my family in the now.

    A couple of years ago I made the very firm decision to sell my business as I was having a terrible time with it. However, strangely, by making that decision and loosening the bond emotionally I had with it, the business turned round and two years on it is in a place i could never have imagined and I am enjoying it so much more. The process over these years has taught me so much and I now have a very different relationship with my work.

    For me, right now, I feel the most important thing is not to grip too tightly to any idea which I think will suddenly make me happy and solve all my problems. I want to give myself the time, and mental and emotional space to let things unfold in the way they should. Louise

    • LindaMay said:

      I get what you are saying about needing to make decisions as a couple that are going to be right for the whole family. Its more straightforward for me as a single person to take on the “intuition experiment” as my finances and responsibilities are simpler. Its interesting what you say about the business turning around when you decided to let it go. I wonder if a similar thing will happen with my greeting card project. I still have shoe boxes full of made up cards as well as blank cards and spare photos, so something has to happen about them. I feel more open to what that might be now that I am not trying to sell them.

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